Wearing gloves is not compulsory, centres may require staff to use gloves when changing nappies, we recommend that you check with staff management and read policies. 

Wearing gloves does not replace the need to wash your hands and you should make sure you wash and dry your hands thoroughly before using gloves (Based on material provided by the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council).

Gloves provide a protective barrier against germs. When staff wear gloves correctly, they protect both themselves and the children in their care from potential infection. It is important to remember that using gloves correctly will reduce the spread of germs, but will not eliminate it (Based on material provided by the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council).

Disposable (single-use only) gloves are made of natural rubber latex, nitrile or vinyl. Latex gloves are preferable,  but nitrile gloves can be used by staff who have a latex allergy, or with children who have latex allergies. Wear disposable gloves if you are likely to come in contact with body fluids or excretions, such as when changing nappies or cleaning up vomit or blood (Based on material provided by the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council).

Washing hands before wearing gloves

Wash your hands before putting on gloves so that you remove as many germs as possible from your hands. Otherwise, when you reach into the box of gloves, you can contaminate the other gloves in the box (Source: Australian National Health and Medical Research Council).

When changing a nappy, it is very important to wash your hands before you put on gloves, so that when you have finished changing the child, you can remove the dirty gloves and dress the child without needing to interrupt the nappy-changing procedure to wash your hands before dressing the child (Source: Australian National Health and Medical Research Council).

Washing hands after wearing gloves

When you have finished a procedure that requires you to wear gloves, it is important to wash your hands thoroughly after removing the gloves, because any germs on your hands may have multiplied significantly while you were wearing the gloves. There may also be microscopic tears or holes in the gloves that can allow germs to contaminate your skin. When taking off the gloves, you may contaminate your hands with the dirty gloves; therefore, it is essential that you wash your hands (Source: Australian National Health and Medical Research Council).

Last updated 6 November 2014.